Yes, I’m still in the kitchen floor, but getting better everyday. As you may have already imagined, my heart is out in the garden.
A reader wrote to me not long ago and said that the Secrets to Seed Starting Success PDF was filled with such “common sense” suggestions that she couldn’t believe she’d not already thought of them.
If we live and garden long enough most of these simple little tips will occur to us sooner or later. But the sooner we have them in our arsenal of tools for success, the easier things get.
Here are 3 tips to add to your list if you don’t already know them:
Potatoes – A Harvest Tip
If soil is heavy, has poor drainage, or is not yet improved, potatoes left in the water logged ground can rot.
But if you have good drainage and your soil is moist during heavy rains but not soggy, your potatoes should be fine even left in the ground long after they’re finished.
So if you have reasons you don’t want to harvest all your potatoes at one time, you don’t have to.
I usually harvest enough for a few meals each time I harvest, beginning in May or June through our first frost long about November. They do well in the driest of summers and even during unusual torrential ongoing rains.
As long as you have potatoes covered well with mulch (straw, pine, leaves, etc) so they won’t be exposed to sunlight and turn green, they’ll keep nicely in the ground until the first frost.
Once exposed to freezing temperatures (or frost) they change composition and don’t taste as good.
Some varieties produce only at the level just above where they’re planted. A few of the tubers produced will show above ground when the vines start to die back. Seeing that, I bring in straw and cover them. That fixes that.
Lettuce – Want It Well into The Heat of Summer?
If you love lettuce like I do, you’ll want it fresh from the garden as long as possible. And you can have it, provided you don’t stop planting with just one or two plantings in the spring.
My winter lettuces produce bountifully in late winter and early spring. This gives me plenty of time to start seed and transplant lettuce for the summer months.
From April to the first of June, I planted 4 times. Each planting was about 20 days apart.
Here it is mid-July. We’ve had many hot and humid days in the 90s.
The last two plantings (Sierra Batavia and Aerostar) are still producing crisp and delicious lettuce. The first two spring plantings are setting seed. (As you know I can’t walk yet, but Lisa gives me the scoop on what’s happening in the garden each day.)
These pests blend so nicely with tomato foliage they can be hard to find even when you’re looking right at them.
If you see damage (stems totally stripped of leaves) and still can’t see the worm, cut the damaged stems away. Come back later with a fresh eye and you’ll probably see it.
And just a reminder: If you see one colonized with the cocoons of the Braconid Wasp — leave him be. He’s paralyzed already and won’t do anymore harm. The young wasp will emerge and help you keep these pests in check in the future.
Final Thoughts of a Personal Nature
I want to thank you for the loving comments left to my post telling about my most recent challenge. They were so encouraging to me.
I’m almost finished answering each message individually via email. So, if you haven’t received a personal email from me, you will soon.
As I’ve told you many times, you are the most wonderful friends and readers in the world and there are none finer. Thank you for your encouragement and caring. I’m so grateful for having you in my life.
All my best and warmest wishes,
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